Department of Homeland Security’s Science & Technology Directorate Announces New Cybersecurity Risk Analysis Tool


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced that a fifth cybersecurity technology has been licensed for commercialization as a part of the Cyber Security Division’s Transition to Practice (TTP) program. The TTP program builds on the S&T process of funding projects through the full research and development lifecycle through to the commercial marketplace.

The Physical and Cyber Risk Analysis Tool (PACRAT) technology, developed by researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), assesses cyber risks simultaneously with physical risks. RhinoCorps, a small business and vulnerability assessment tool developer in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is licensing the tool and plans to integrate PACRAT’s capabilities into their physical vulnerability assessment tool called Simajin. The resulting assessment tool will enable users to examine how their cyber security and physical security postures impact one another.

“S&T’s TTP program is leading the way in assisting the transition of government funded technology into the marketplace,” said DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology Dr. Reginald Brothers. “Some of the most innovative technologies have been developed by our national lab partners and it’s essential we help them provide a positive impact on the nation’s cybersecurity posture.”

In 2013, the TTP program identified PACRAT as a promising candidate for transition to the commercial marketplace. By combing physical and cyber domains into one risk assessment tool, this technology can create simulations for both domains individually as well as the domain cross-over.

“Securing both the physical and cyber domains are essential to securing an organization’s infrastructure and currently all assessment tools on the market only observe one or the other domain,” said TTP Program Manager Mike Pozmantier. “The PACRAT technology will not only observe both domains, but will include the crossover and provide an organization a complete view of their security posture.”

Each fiscal year the TTP program selects up to nine promising cyber technologies to incorporate into its 36-month program. S&T introduces these technologies to end users around the country with the goal of transitioning them to investors, developers or manufacturers that can advance them and turn them into commercially viable products.

TTP has 24 active technologies and eight additional technologies that have completed the program’s three year process that are ready for transition to the marketplace. Five of those technologies — Quantum Secured Communication, Hyperion, NeMS, PathScan and now PACRAT have successfully transitioned to the marketplace through commercial licenses.

“Taking technology across the valley-of-death and into the market is always challenging for any R&D organization,” said PNNL Technology Commercialization Manager Kannan Krishnaswami. “The TTP program has been instrumental in exposing our technology to key cybersecurity investors to accelerate the tech transfer process. And we are excited to have the PACRAT technology provide a positive impact on our nation’s security.”

S&T anticipates that the successful transition of PACRAT to the commercial marketplace will help open the door to new technology partners and raise the visibility of other worthy technologies developed by the national labs as solutions to complex cybersecurity challenges.

Interdisciplinary teams at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory address many of America’s most pressing issues in energy, the environment and national security through advances in basic and applied science. Founded in 1965, PNNL employs 4,400 staff and has an annual budget of nearly $1 billion. It is managed by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. As the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, the Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.

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